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Kings County Criminal Bar Association honors retiring justice Jo Ann Ferdinand at CLE meeting

October 21, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Kings County Criminal Bar Association hosted a CLE session on the "Handling of Federal Arraignments" during its monthly meeting on Thursday. Pictured from left: KCCBA President Michael Farkas with CLE presenters Michael O. Hueston and Allon Lifshitz. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Kings County Criminal Bar Association (KCCBA) hosted its monthly Continuing Legal Education (CLE) meeting where it honored retiring Justice Jo Ann Ferdinand at the Brooklyn Bar Association on Remsen Street on Thursday night.

“If you don’t know Judge Ferdinand, then there is indeed something wrong with you, and you are not the better person for it,” KCCBA President Michael Farkas joked.

Justice Ferdinand is credited with helping to establish the Brooklyn Treatment Court — the first drug court of its kind in New York City — in 1996. In 2010, she helped to open the Veteran Treatment Court and started a mental health and trauma treatment track at that court in 2014. She’s also the founding member and president of the New York Association of the Drug Treatment Court Professionals.

“The wonderful thing about treatment court [is that while] as a judge you try to make the process fair, at treatment court you get to try to make the outcome fair,” Ferdinand said. “After being a judge for 30 years, I’ve decided to take many people’s advice and start living. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you.”

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The KCCBA presented Ferdinand with flowers and also made a donation on her behalf to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

The meeting also gave U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Robert L. Capers an opportunity to introduce himself to the KCCBA members. He talked a bit about himself and what he’d like to do as the U.S. attorney. He also asked KCCBA members for suggestions on how to better bring justice to the Eastern District.

“I ask that you all, as a body, engage with our office on important issues that matter to this body. We might not always agree on everything, but I promise that we’ll approach everything with an open mind.”

The event also included a CLE session titled “Handling Federal Arraignments” that was designed to teach the practical aspects of the federal arraignment process from arrest through bail or the detention hearing. The lecture was given by Michael O. Hueston, of the Law Office of Michael O. Hueston, and Allon Lifshitz, assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

“Many of you have been clamoring for this because so many of you are interested in federal practice. Learning the nuts and bolts is what’s most important.”

Farkas also announced the nominees for the executive board for 2017, which include Michael Cibella as the next president of the organization, Christopher Wright as the executive vice president, Danielle Eaddy as the treasurer and Darren Fields as the secretary.

This was the last CLE meeting the KCCBA will host in 2016; its next meeting will take place in January. However, the group is holding a special event on Dec. 4 where it will get a tour of lower Manhattan from Barnet Schecter, an American Historian and author of the book “The Battle for New York.” Farkas also announced that the KCCBA holiday party will take place at the Brooklyn Bar Association on Dec. 15, where it will honor retiring justices Hon. Patricia E. Henry and Hon. Alan D. Marrus.


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